Not Shelling out

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"Shell is helping create viable and sustainable alternatives for both fuel and power through scientific and technology developments in such areas as wind, biomass, hydrogen and solar." So says the website for Shell, amid a flurry of other stories of how the gas company is saving the world.

Not any more. The multinational is having investment problems, and renewable energy just doesn't attract the cash. It is therefore to be dumped in favour of biofuel investment, which stands accused of increasing food prices and deforestation.

"We are businessmen and women," confirmed Linda Cook, Shell's executive director of gas and power. "If there were renewables [which made money] we would put money into it."